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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times CD (album) cover


Sleepytime Gorilla Museum



3.95 | 115 ratings

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5 stars You can see an improvement in every Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum album. Their first one "Grand Opening And Closing" was a bit of a mess, though definitely shined in many places. "Of Natural History" is one of my favorite albums of all time, yet "In Glorious Times" is more or less perfect. The sound is definitely the same, yet has been dramatically altered. The music has a more organic, and simpler feeling most of the times. Yet SGM uses the simpler elements in their music to push with sonic experimentations and more or less perfect songwriting. There's no insane shows of skill like in "Of Natural History" (well there are in some parts but not as showy and all displays of virtuosity are to advance the song itself). In many ways it just feels like SGM took what made it great and made it even better.

For one, Carla Kihlstedt's voice has gotten itself a whole lotta more personality. I really like her voice in the first album, but it did sound bit like Bjork's. Here she has really gotten her own style. She roars and screams (Wow... "Angle Of Repose" is a good example...). Her violin playing is definitely excellent just in all the other albums. Nils' voice is one of the better one's in all time. It's like the gods of metal were all: "WE HAVE DECIDED UPON A COMMONER WHO WILL BESTOW HIS AWESOME VOICE UPON ALL WEAKLINGS AND IT SHALL MELT YOUR FACE AND YOUR BRAIN SHALL EXPLODE AND BE COLLECTED BY A WALKING TURTLE ZOMBIE WHO WILL ASSEMBLE IT AGAIN ONLY SO YOU CAN HAVE IT EXPLODE AGAIN" more or less. Though for the most part he doesn't sing in the metal voice I have explained above. He displays his truly, just unnatural vocal range, reaching high squeals which just give you chills. Truly one of the greatest vocalists the world has ever known. The musicians are all incredible. I particularly like multi-instrumentalist Michael Mellender, who displays a wide range of instruments (it does say ALL THINGS under what instrument he plays on the album page so um... dude). Matthias Bossi returns with incredible drums ("Helpless Corpses Enactment" is like kapaow!) and Dan Rathbun's on bass. Dan's a mostly streamlined player though considering the more laid back feeling of the album in general it's the music beautifully and his choice of notes is really touching. Oh and Nil's guitar work is even better than "Of Natural History". Loud screeches and insane arpeggios and lines are awesomely awesome in this album.

The songs? Like Shwowzies. Each song I can really rave about for ages. I mean it starts so beautifully with "The Companions" which the lyrics are song at times in Spanish and are great. "Helpless Corpses Enactment" is the only true heavy metal song and the album. And it is metal (Accent on the t (one of the funniest comments in Youtube were about this song and I didn't write this all credit goes to yaddah yaddah but he's a genius: "I don't know. This just might be all the Metal I need... this video is like "have you had enough Metal?" and you're like... "naw, I'm good. Really, it was great. Thanks". And then the video is like "No, I don't think you've had enough. Here's some more Metal." and you're like "whoa. Uh, dude..?". Except you say it in kind of a quivering voice. And then it gets in your face and is all like "RrraaahhhHHHHHH!!!")). Other incredible highlights are "Formicary" which is creepy as crepes. Mellener's vocals are incredible. Ossuary is a great oriental sounding instrumental. I want to mention also very warmly "Salt Crown", which is really beautiful. Nils' vocals there can drive you to tears. And "The Only Dance" which has one of the more beautiful melodies I have truly ever heard (it was actually stuck in my head for months before I remembered what album it was and when I found it again I was hyper for a few days listening to that song on repeat).

To conclude I can really say that this is an overhaul of "Of Natural History". Just a truly perfect album (well no album's perfect but this is damn close). I mean it takes a few listens but not many to truly appreciate this masterpiece for what it is. All prog fans should like this and not only RIO fans. This album has just the right amount of experimentation and melodies to make it a very powerful and emotional piece of work.

P.S. The lyrics here are also some drastically better. The album is a concept about Nils' brother who died due to complications from bipolar disorder. I won't lie there were times I was almost driven to tears (but I'm a man and am super tough so I wasn't.) the lyrics are sung with a lot of passion and a lot of energy, and deserve an honorable mention.

frippism | 5/5 |


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